Sokoman, Benton drilling Golden Hope project, Newfoundland
Sokoman Minerals Corp. [SIC-TSXV; SICNF-OTCQB] and Benton Resources Inc. [BEX-TSXV] (the alliance) have started the 2023 drilling program which will see a minimum of 5,000 metres drilled on the 50/50 Golden Hope joint venture (GHJV), Newfoundland.
The GHJV was formed by the alliance in 2021 to explore the mineral potential of an underexplored structural belt of rocks in southwestern Newfoundland hosting past-producing gold operations. Within the first week of exploration, the alliance had discovered the very first hard-rock lithium dike on the island, and in the fall of 2022, the alliance discovered the very first cesium-rich dike. These two areas of mineralization are now known as the Kraken lithium pegmatite field and the Hydra dike. Drilling will commence at the Killick zone, part of the Kraken lithium pegmatite field, where holes completed in late 2022 all returned significant lithium mineralization.
Killick dike drilling: 1.04% Li2O (lithium oxide) over 15.23 metres, including 4.18 metres of 1.48% Li2O and 2.98 metres of 1.23% Li2O in GH-22-27, and 9.50 metres of 1.08% Li2O from GH-22-26.
Other dikes tested include 0.95% Li2O over 8.40 metres, including 1.76% Li2O over 0.80 metres in GH-22-01 on the Kraken Main dike; 5.50 m at 1.16% Li2O within a wider intersection of 20.82 metres averaging 0.60% Li2O in drill hole GH-22-15 on the East dike.
Drilling will also test any new dikes uncovered during the continuing soil geochemical and trenching program along strike to the east of the Kraken lithium pegmatite field, where in 2022, lithium-in-soil geochemical anomalies of similar strength to the discovery dike area lie 4 km along strike to the east of known dikes.
A select number of holes will also be completed at the high-grade Hydra dike 12 km northeast of the Kraken lithium pegmatite field once trenching and sampling have been completed. A 1.2-metre long channel sample collected at Hydra in late 2022 returned 8.76% Cs2O (cesium oxide), 0.41% Li2O, 0.025% Ta2O5 (tantalum pentoxide) and 0.33% Rb2O (rubidium oxide). The dike is only partially exposed (5-6 metres wide) and additional sampling is required to determine width of mineralization. All proposed work is fully permitted and financed with a $3-million to $4-million budget for the entire lithium and cesium programs.
Tim Froude, president and CEO of Sokoman, said: “We are very pleased to be starting the 2023 drilling program, and along with our JV partner Benton Resources, anticipate a successful program. The initial holes will target extending the Killick dike mineralization which has returned our best drill results to date, and once trenching has been completed at Hydra, testing the high-grade cesium mineralization defined in late 2022.”
Stephen Stares, president and CEO of Benton, said: “We are extremely excited to kick off the field season at the GHJV and I’m confident that we’ll have another successful year on this newly discovered lithium-cesium belt. With our large land position, high demand for these much-needed critical metals and rapidly growing concerns to cut harmful emissions, Benton and Sokoman are truly in a rare position to unlock Newfoundland’s potential for LTC-type pegmatite discoveries while increasing shareholder value.”
Sokoman’s primary focus is its portfolio of gold projects: the flagship, 100%-owned Moosehead, Crippleback Lake (available for option) and East Alder (optioned to Canterra Minerals Corp.) along the central Newfoundland gold belt, and the district-scale Fleur de Lys project near Baie Verte in northwestern Newfoundland.
Sokoman is in a strategic alliance with Benton Resources through three large-scale joint venture properties, including Grey River Gold, Golden Hope and Kepenkeck in Newfoundland. Sokoman now controls independently and through the Benton alliance more than 150,000 hectares (greater than 6,000 claims – 1,500 km2), making it one of the largest landholders in Newfoundland. The company also retains an interest in an early-stage antimony/gold project (Startrek) in Newfoundland, optioned to Thunder Gold Corp. (formerly White Metal Resources Inc.), and in Labrador, the company has a 100% interest in the Iron Horse (iron) project that has direct shipping ore (DSO) potential.
Following a project generation business model, Benton has a diversified, prospective property portfolio of gold, silver, nickel, copper, platinum group elements, and, most recently, lithium and cesium assets.